I received a Reckless Driving in Fairfax, VA for Speeding 85-90 mph in a 55 mph zone, what are the punishments?
First, let me clear up a big rumor. All over the internet, from either dishonest or ignorant attorneys, I see articles claiming that if you get convicted of Reckless Driving, you will get a criminal record. An experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA should explain that Reckless is considered a “non-reportable” offense. If you do not have a previous criminal record, and you get convicted, it will not go on your Criminal Record. I know what I am talking about on this. I served 12 years as the Chairman of the House Courts of Justice (“Judiciary”) Committee. This issue came up often in our meetings, and the State Police Officer in charge of entering criminal record information explained this over and over. So, rest assured, if you don’t have a previous criminal record, you will not get one if you are convicted of this charge. (However, if you are convicted and get jail and have a previous criminal record, they will add the Reckless to it.) But just because it won’t go on your criminal record does NOT mean that you should take this charge lightly. If you were going 76 – 80 mph in a 55 mph zone, and had a good driving record, then you probably could go to court on your own and talk your way out of jail and a license suspension. And maybe you would get lucky, draw and easy Judge, and he would lower your charge. But if you are reading this, it is because you were going 85-90 in a 55 mph zone. Any experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA should warn you that going to Court on your own at speeds 85+, is very risky. While it is not written in the VA Code anywhere, the general rule of thumb for Judges on Reckless Driving by Speed cases is that even with good driving records, they seriously consider suspending driver’s licenses at speeds greater than 84, and will often give people a day in jail for every mph over 90! And if your Driving Record is not good, (e.g. lots of speedings, a previous Reckless or DUI), jail can be expected even at speeds lower than 90 mph. When clients come to me with good Driving Records and speeding greater than 85, they often say, “I want this reduced to a traffic infraction.” Well that is what I want too, but as an honest Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA, I cannot honestly accept a fee with that expectation. I will try my best to get it reduced, but honestly, at speeds greater than 84, keeping a person out of jail and keeping his/her drivers’ license it a great outcome. I know this is hard for people to believe. They often say, “It’s just speeding.” And while I agree that it should not be that big of a deal, that is not the reality in Fairfax. A while ago the Judges learned that more people die from speeding accidents than DUI. After they realized that, they started “laying the hammer down” on high speed Reckless Driving cases. Reckless is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which carries with up to one year in jail, up to a $2500 fine and 6 months loss of license. People rarely get the max. In fact, I have been in Fairfax Courts for 30 years and have never seen anyone get the max. But with a Reckless Speeding 85-90 in a 55 mph zone, and a not so great driving record, I have seen people get 5+ days in jail and lose their license for a full 6 months. That is why you should definitely hire an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA. First of all, without an attorney, you cannot negotiate with the Prosecutor to hopefully keep you out of jail and keep you driving. In Fairfax, Prosecutors only talk to other attorneys. If you go on your own, you will only be able to address the Judge. Secondly, experienced Reckless Driving attorneys know how to put their clients in the best position to get a charge reduced, or keep him/her out of jail and in their car. First, attorneys look to see if the case can be won. If it can’t, then they work to limit punishment. For my clients, I prescribe certain in-person safe driving courses that I know Fairfax Prosecutors and Judges like. Furthermore, if we cannot get an acceptable Plea Agreement from the Prosecutor, then I prepare my clients for a presentation to the Judge. Many Judges will give better outcomes than Prosecutors, but only if the defendant makes a proper and convincing presentation. Many people try to explain themselves without an attorney’s help. I have heard them tell the Judge “my car can’t go that fast” or “I was just keeping up with traffic.” Both of these are so bad, and so often heard, they are now subject of jokes amongst Prosecutors and Judges. An experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA will know which explanations and mitigation defenses are most effective. I would be honored to assist you. I grew up in Fairfax, served as a District Court Prosecutor in Fairfax, have worked in Fairfax Courts for 30 years, served a portion of Fairfax County in the State Legislature for 24 years, and am a 5 time Washingtonian and NOVA Magazine Top Attorney.
Big Change in Reckless Driving by Speed in Virginia Effective July 1, 2020
The Virginia House of Delegates and Senate passed a new law that increases the speed sufficient for Reckless Driving. The old law stated that anyone driving at 20 mph or more over the speed limit OR driving in excess of 80 mph is guilty of Reckless Driving. Any experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County Virginia would tell you that this created a big problem for people driving on interstates where the speed limit is 70 mph. In these areas of the interstate, if you were driving just 11 mph over the limit at 81 mph, you could be convicted of the crime of Reckless Driving!
Thankfully, the Virginia General Assembly finally fixed this problem. A new bill which will be effective July 1, 2020, keeps the 20 mph or more section of the Reckless statute, but changes the 80 mph to 85 mph. In other words, the new law will make any person going 20 mph or more OR any person driving faster than 85 mph guilty of Reckless. You can check it out for yourself in the Virginia Code. Here is the new bill that will appear in the Virginia Code on July 1, 2020. (Note Strikethroughs are deletions of existing law and italics are additions to existing law.) If this does not make sense, just call a Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County Virginia, and he/she should be able to answer your questions.
§ 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.
shall be is guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty 20 miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty 85 miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.
§ 46.2-878.3. Prepayment of fines for violations of speed limits.
Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Traffic Infractions and Uniform Fine Schedule adopted by the Supreme Court for prepayment of fines shall, in all instances where prepayment of a fine is permitted, include a fine of $6 per mile-per-hour in excess of posted speed limits provided for in this article. However, such Traffic Infractions and Uniform Fine Schedule shall include a fine of $7 per mile-per-hour in excess of posted speed limits for a violation of §§ 46.2-873 and 46.2-878.1 and $8 per mile-per-hour in excess of posted speed limits for a violation of § 46.2-878.2. Any person who drives a motor vehicle at a speed in excess of 80 miles per hour but below 86 miles per hour on any highway in the Commonwealth having a maximum speed limit of 65 miles per hour shall be subject to an additional fine of $100.
An experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County Virginia can explain to you how this statute applies in real life. In short, a lawyer can be helpful in getting a Reckless Driving charge reduced to a Traffic Infraction of Speeding. Why do you need a lawyer? There is no law that says you have to have one. But in most jurisdictions, Prosecutors will not talk to defendants. They only talk to lawyers. So, if you want to get a Prosecutor to amend the charge prior to going before the Judge, you need a lawyer. A lawyer can negotiate with the Prosecutor to get your Reckless reduced to Speeding. A Traffic Infraction of Speeding is not a crime. It cannot result in jail nor a license suspension. It has a maximum fine of $250.
So, if you are barely going over the Reckless threshold (e.g. 22 mph over the limit or just 86 in a 70 mph zone) and have a good driving record, you may be able to convince a Judge to lower your charge to Speeding. But if you are driving faster than this, or you have a bad driving record, you should definitely consider hiring a Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax County Virginia.
For more information about changes in reckless driving law in Virginia, contact Dave Albo – Attorney.
If convicted of Reckless Driving or Driving on a Suspended License, will the charge appear on my criminal record?
Many lawyers on the internet try and make people freak out by claiming that if they don’t get off the Reckless Driving charge or Driving on a Suspended charge, they will have a criminal record! Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Contact a trusted Reckless Driving Lawyer Fairfax County, VA trusts to get an accurate answer. I have been practicing law in Virginia for 30 years and for 24 years I wrote the law as a Member of the Virginia House of Delegates. While I was Chairman of the House Courts of Justice Committee, the issue of whether Reckless or other non-DUI related traffic crimes (e.g. Driving on Suspended) create a “Criminal Record,” came up many times. It also comes up almost daily when I am in Court with clients charged with Reckless Driving in Fairfax County, Alexandria City, Arlington County, Prince William County and Loudoun County. As of the time I am writing this, July 2018, here is the answer to whether a conviction of Reckless Driving or Driving on a Suspended License goes on a Criminal Record: In Virginia, DUI and Reckless Driving are both Class 1 Misdemeanors. Driving on a Suspended License is a Class 2 Misdemeanor. DUI convictions get reported the State and National Criminal Record. (a.k.a. the Computer Criminal Records Exchange “CCRE”) But not all Misdemeanors are reported. From my experience and research as both a Virginia Legislator and as a Reckless Driving Attorney, in Fairfax VA, I found the following: The Code of Federal Regulations Title 28 – Judicial Administration. CHAPTER I – DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. PART 20 – CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEMS. Subpart C – Federal Systems and Exchange of Criminal History Record Information, states:
- 20.32Includable offenses.(a) Criminal history record information maintained in the III System and the FIRS shall include serious and/or significant adult and juvenile offenses.(b) The FIRS excludes arrests and court actions concerning nonserious offenses, e.g., drunkenness, vagrancy, disturbing the peace, curfew violation, loitering, false fire alarm, non-specific charges of suspicion or investigation, and traffic violations (except data will be included on arrests for vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of drugs or liquor, and hit and run), when unaccompanied by a § 20.32(a) offense. These exclusions may not be applicable to criminal history records maintained in state criminal history record repositories, including those states participating in the NFF.(c) The exclusions enumerated above shall not apply to federal manual criminal history record information collected, maintained, and compiled by the FBI prior to the effective date of this subpart.
What does all this mean in English? A DUI or Hit and Run Misdemeanor are determined to be “serious” traffic Misdemeanors, and as such, they are reported by the Courts to the State Police and then by the State Police to the FBI to be included in the CCRE. Reckless Driving and Driving on Suspended are considered “non-serious” and they are NOT reported to the CCRE. But as every experienced Fairfax, VA Reckless Driving Attorney knows, there are always exceptions. IF a person already has a criminal record (was convicted of a reportable offense in the past) and gets a Reckless Driving, Driving on Suspended, or other “non-serious” Misdemeanor and receives jail time, then it will be reported. The short answer is, if you have a clean Criminal Record and get convicted of Reckless, Driving on Suspended or other Misdemeanor considered “nonserious”, you will not get a Criminal Record. The next question I often get, as a Fairfax, VA reckless driving attorney, is, “If I am convicted of Reckless Driving and it goes on my Criminal Record, can I say, I have never been convicted of a crime?” I get this question because many of my clients have Security Clearances or are in regulated professions (e.g. doctor, lawyer, stock broker, realtor, etc.) The answer is, “Tell the truth.” If you were convicted of Reckless Driving, even though it is not on your Criminal Record, you did get convicted of a crime. So if you are not in a regulated profession, maybe it is not worth hiring a lawyer for a Reckless Driving (that is if you are willing to accept the punishments of possible jail, license suspension and fine.) But if you are in a regulated profession, you should contact the regulators to see what the consequences of a conviction are. And if the consequence will hinder your career, then it will be worth the money to hire an experienced Driving on a Suspended License or Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax, VA relies on, today.
Reckless Driving Accident Fairfax VA
Have you been arrested for a reckless driving accident in Fairfax, Virginia? If so, it is your right to talk with a reckless driving lawyer offers. You should use this right to your advantage. Don’t waste any more time. The sooner you talk with a reckless driving accident lawyer, the better the chances are that you may be able to have your charges reduced or dropped. For a consultation with Dave Albo – Attorney please call us now. You Are Innocent Until Proven Guilty Consistent with all crimes is the principles of criminal law. First and foremost, regardless of the circumstances, you are innocent until you are proven guilty. Even if you are not aware, this can be used to your advantage. You can only be found guilty at a trial by judge or jury or in the event you plea your guilt. By having a criminal defense lawyer on your side defending you against charges for the reckless driving accident in Fairfax VA, he or she can investigate the details and facts of your case to determine what, if any, defenses exist to protect your innocence. A reckless driving lawyer can also be your voice at any upcoming hearings and court dates. This means, you will not be required to say anything – or at least, very little. You can choose to represent yourself or have a public defender to defend against the Fairfax, VA reckless driving accident. The first choice is highly inadvisable, and the second should only be made when there are no other alternatives. Public defenders are certified lawyers, and they may be great at what they do. The problem is that they often have limited time and resources. These two things are so important and without them, your case and your life might suffer. A private criminal lawyer takes on only as much work as he or she can handle at any given time. Plus, because the firm is privately funded, and not by the state, the amount of resources can be vast. We, at Dave Albo – Attorney have an invaluable amount of resources not limited to financial access, but also to medical examiners, forensic examiners, expert witnesses, psychologists, private investigators, and more. We understand the local, state, and federal court system and have fought for the rights of our clients for decades. Our experience and knowledge have enabled our lawyers to obtain not guilty verdicts, as well as, reduced charges for many clients who have been arrested because of a reckless driving accident in Fairfax, VA Your Case Matters to Us We care about our clients. When you choose us to represent you, please know that you will not be another case number. Rather, we are ready to stand up for you and be the protector of your rights. We will explain to you the situation and your potential options. It is our goal to help you make sound decisions that reflect your goals. Throughout your case, our reckless driving lawyer Fairfax VA clients recommend will stand by your side and be there to support you, as well as your family members. Regardless of what you have been charged with, no matter how much evidence law enforcement might have, let us listen to what happened so that we can give you the legal advocacy that you may need at this time. For a consultation with a criminal defense lawyer, about a reckless driving accident Fairfax, VA police arrested you for, please call Dave Albo – Attorney.
What can I expect for a Reckless Driving Fairfax, VA for Speeding over 90 mph in a 55 mph zone?
Let me start out this article by saying, if you are reading this with the hopes of getting your Reckless Driving for speeds at greater than 90 mph dropped or even lowered to a minor traffic infraction, don’t read any further. I don’t lie to people. Any experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA should tell you, that while anything is possible, unless there is a defense (e.g. the Police radar calibration is off), you are going to get convicted. You can bring Abraham Lincoln back to life as your lawyer, and if you are speeding over 90 mph anywhere in Fairfax County, you will be convicted. The “game” is not whether you will be convicted, the “game” is whether you will get jail and whether you will lose your license. And since going to jail and not being able to drive is not a “game”, you will want to hire an experience attorney to represent you. The maximum punishments for Reckless Driving in Virginia are up to one year in jail, up to a $2500 fine, and up to 6 months loss of license. While a Judge can give the absolute minimum (e.g. no jail and no license suspension), Judges in Fairfax have an unwritten “rule of thumb.” For even people with good driving records, Judges consider license suspensions at speeds greater than 84 mph, and will often give one day in jail for every mph over 90. Thus, hiring an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA for a Reckless Driving charge at speeds over 90 mph is a necessity. Why? Because in Fairfax, Prosecutors will not talk to individual defendants. They only talk to attorneys. So, without an attorney, there is no way to negotiate a reduction in the charge, or to reach a Plea Agreement that keeps you driving and keeps you out of jail. Your only chance is to go before a Judge and try to convince him/her to not use the “rule of thumb” and not give you jail and a 6 month license suspension. Unless there is a valid defense, a Fairfax Reckless Driving Lawyer, will help set you up for the best possible outcome with a Prosecutor or, if an acceptable Plea Agreement cannot be reached with a Prosecutor, set you up for the best presentation to a Judge. For my “high speed” Reckless Clients, I recommend an in-person safe driving class that I know the Fairfax Judges like. Also, I help create the presentation to the Judge. For example, I know after 30 years of practicing law, that Judges hate excuses. When I represent my clients before a Judge, we don’t use excuses. Rather, we talk about corrective actions. I know for many people reading this, all of this is hard to believe. Jail and loss of license for speeding over 90 mph? Yes, it is true. It makes sense if you know why. Many years ago, the Fairfax Judges learned that more people die from speeding collisions than DUI. After that, they decided to do something about it, and created their unwritten rule of a “day in jail for every mph over 90…” Remember this is a “rule of thumb.” It is not a law. Thus, there are ways experienced Reckless Driving Lawyers know how to avoid jail and license suspensions. Thus, in order to not be subject to this “rule”, you need to show that you are different from all the other people that were speeding greater than 90 mph. That is where your experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA will be invaluable. He/She will know how to show that you are different and deserving of a lower punishment than everyone else gets for speeding greater than 90 mph. Get to your lawyer early because preparation for this type of case can take many weeks. You won’t be able to complete the recommended course, get your speedometer calibrated, and acquire all your driving records (even from other states you may have lived) in a week. One last thing. In Virginia, you have an automatic appeal to Circuit Court for a new trial. So, if your attorney is unable to get you a Plea Agreement that keeps you out of jail, or if, even after your presentation, the Judge gives you jail (e.g. at speeds greater than 100 mph, it is an almost certainty that you will get jail. As I said above, even Abraham Lincoln can’t keep you out of jail at speeds over 100 mph in a 55 mph zone), you can note your appeal and go to trial before a Jury. Juries are often less likely to give jail than a Judge. Why? Because Jurors speed themselves. It is my belief that people are against crimes — except for crimes they commit themselves. So, if staying out of jail is a paramount concern, you should select a Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA to help you try your case before a jury. If you need legal assistance, I would be honored to receive your call or e-mail. I grew up in Fairfax County, I served as the Prosecutor for the City of Fairfax, for 30 years, I have defended people in Fairfax Courts, I wrote the laws as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for 24 years, and I have been awarded “Top Attorney” designations from Washingtonian and NOVA Magazines 5 times.
What are the punishments for Reckless Driving by Speed in Fairfax County Virginia at a speed of 80 – 85 mph in a 55 mph zone?
In Virginia, a Reckless Driving is technically a crime. Most people cannot believe that they could be convicted of a crime for merely driving 20 mph over the speed limit. That is why you should contact an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA to see what you are facing. An honest attorney should first tell you that while a Reckless Driving conviction is a Class 1 Misdemeanor crime (punishable by up to one year in jail, up to a $2500 fine and up to 6 months license suspension), it does not go on a criminal record. One of the biggest fallacies on the internet is false claims that a Reckless will go on your criminal record. It will not. Reckless, along with some other traffic misdemeanors, is a non-reportable crime. If you do not already have a criminal record, then even if you are convicted of Reckless, it will not go on your criminal record. (Note: If you get convicted of Reckless and get jail, and have a previous criminal record, it does go on.) I know this is contrary to what you read on most internet sites, but take it from a guy who served as the Chairman of the Virginia House of Delegates Courts of Justice (“Judiciary”) Committee longer than any person in the 300+ year history of that committee (me). I have done the research and personally conversed with the State Police Officer responsible for entering criminal offense convictions into the Computer Criminal Records Exchange (“CCRE”). Note, however, that it is still a crime. So, if you are in a regulated profession where you may be asked, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”, if you were convicted of a Reckless Driving, you would have to answer “Yes.” This is why may people in Northern Virginia hire an experienced Reckless Driving lawyer Fairfax VA. Many of our clients have security clearances or are in regulated professions like law, finance, medicine, or any other profession that requires a license. These people do not want to have to answer “Yes, I have been convicted of a crime” anytime their certifications come up for renewal or if their licensing requires reporting criminal convictions. The original point of this article was to explain the punishments for a Reckless at speeds of 80-85 mph in a 55 mph zone. (Note: This article assumes that you have no legitimate defense. A good attorney will determine up front whether you can win at trial. If the odds of winning are slim, then your attorney will do his best to lower the punishments.) The answer depends upon whether you hire an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA, what your driving record is like, and what Judge you get. In Fairfax, Prosecutors will not talk to individual defendants. They only talk to attorneys. So, without a lawyer, you have no way of asking a Prosecutor to lower your charge to Speeding. Thus, if you don’t have a lawyer, you have to try your luck directly in front of the Judge when your case is called. If you have a good driving record, (e.g. no previous serious offenses and maybe just one or two traffic infractions over the past 10 years), the odds that you will get even one second in jail are slim. And, usually, you will be able to talk the judge out of suspending your license. So, if you have a great DMV record and don’t really have to worry about having a Reckless conviction, perhaps save money and don’t hire an attorney. There is no law that says you have to have an attorney. The problem is that you will most likely get convicted of Reckless. It depends upon what Judge you draw. Many Judges believe their role is just to call “guilty” or “not guilty.” So, if you get one of those Judges who believe his role is to just look at the facts and determine guilt or innocence, even with a perfect driving record, you will get convicted. On the other hand, if you have a perfect record, some Judges on their own will lower the charge to speeding. If I had a crystal ball, I could tell you what is going to happen. But I don’t have one. It is just up to the “luck of the draw.” What about a person without a great DMV driving record? The biggest advantage of hiring an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA is that your attorney can talk to the Prosecutor. In the above example, your attorney can show the Prosecutor your great driving record, and get the charge reduced to Speeding or Improper Driving (two examples of minor traffic infractions that are not “crimes.”) If your driving record is not too good, and you don’t want jail, and/or you need to be able to drive, then you really should spend the money on an attorney. As stated above, your attorney can try and get the Prosecutor to lower the charge, or if your record is really bad, your attorney can negotiate a plea agreement that is acceptable to you (e.g. a conviction without jail and without a license suspension.) If the Prosecutor is incalcitrant, then you may be able to get an agreement that allows you to drive for 6 months with a restricted license (e.g. to and from work, child care, school, etc.). And if the Prosecutor is still not working with you and your attorney, an experienced Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA will know whether the Judge is good, and if so, can take your case straight to the Judge and get a more reasonable punishment. If you are going less than 85 and have a perfect record, I usually get a charge reduced to Speeding or Improper Driving. As stated above, there is no law that says you have to have an attorney, so some people try and do it on their own without the help of a Reckless Driving Attorney Fairfax VA. If you want the best odds of getting a charge reduced from Reckless – even with a perfect record, I would be honored to assist you. And if your record is not perfect, not only would I be honored to assist you – you really do need an attorney. I served as the Fairfax City District Court Prosecutor in the early 90’s, practiced law defending people in Fairfax Courts for over 30 years, wrote the laws as a representative of the people of Fairfax County in the Virginia House of Delegates for 24 years, and have been selected 5 times each as a Top Attorney by Washingtonian and NOVA Magazines.